Distraction Osteogenesis, is a surgical process used to reconstruct
skeletal deformities and lengthen the bones of the body. A corticotomy is used to
fracture the bone into two segments, and the two ends of the bone are gradually
moved apart during the distraction phase, allowing new bone to form in the gap.
When the desired or possible length is reached, a consolidation phase follows in
which the bone is allowed to keep healing. Distraction osteogenesis has the benefit
of simultaneously increasing bone length and the volume of surrounding soft tissues.
Since all distraction osteogenesis surgical procedures are done while the patient
is under general anesthesia, pain during the surgical procedure is not an issue..
Activation of the distraction device to slowly separate the bones may cause some
patients mild discomfort. In general, the slow movement of bony segments produces
discomfort roughly analogous to having braces tightened.